We are the Trail Jesters
The final 2016 GNCC round was held at the popular Ironman grounds in Indiana. Our GNCC rookies were determined to end the series on strong note. And wow did they deliver … with Ben 7th in XC1/7th overall and Josh 3rd XC2/11th overall.
XC1 you say?? Yup, Ben signed a one race XC1 deal with AmPro Yamaha. Ben went down to South Carolina (with Josh) and had 3 days testing the bike and decided together with Randy Hawkins that he would race it at the final round. Ben basically rode with Daniel Milner’s engine and suspension set up. Now you have to realize that Ben has never raced a 4 stroke or a 450. Most people I spoke to on Saturday and Sunday before the race expected that he would fade after the half way point given the extra energy it takes to race a big bike. But Ben isn’t a normal person and he has the heart of a lion. When the race started Ben got off to a slow start and after lap two began to really feel the bike and ride more aggressively. As the laps progressed he reeled in and passed his way up to 7th (3 seconds off 6th place). That’s a pretty great result and I think Ben turned a lot of heads with his ride.
Josh wrapped up his four race 2016 deal with AmPro Yamaha with his third podium finish out of four races for them. Josh got a poor start but had worked his way up to 5th by half way thru the first lap. Then he crashed pretty hard and bent the front end up good. Took him a while to get around to the pits and with help from the mechanics got the front end straightened out and forks working again. He then put his head down and charged all race passing into 3rd on the last lap. A strong finish to a great year for Josh.
The guys complete their first GNCC series with very respectable class and overall results. In fact … and I realize I am a bit biased … but their results demonstrate they are the Pro Lites rookies of the year in GNCC.
- Ben Kelley – 5th XC2 & 12th overall. Ben earns national #12 for 2017.
- Josh Toth – 4th XC2 & 14th overall. Josh is national #14 next year.
Both are in contract talks with multiple teams/manufacturers for 2017 … stay tuned.
The FIM ISDE 2016 was an incredible adventure and set of accomplishments for Team Trail Jesters. There were 123 club teams entered from 35 countries. We are very proud to place 2nd as a team and grab a lot of individual awards.
Ben Kelley – Gold Medal, C2 class champion (that means his time sets the gold medal time for all others in the class.
Jason Klammer – Gold Medal (very proud of this ISDE rookie)
Josh Toth – Gold Medal, C1 class champion and top overall club rider (his 7th and 4th place overall test finishes in the Enduro Tests on day 4 make him one of the stand out newcomers in World Enduro)
The International Six Days of Enduro is the most prestigious off-road motorcycle event in the world.
First held in Carlisle, England, in 1913, the ISDE is one of the longest-running events on the calendar of the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme. The ISDE is the annual FIM Enduro World Championship for national teams and considered to be the Olympics of motorcycling. The “six days” is the world’s largest annual off-road motorcycle competition. Since 1913, countries have sent their best off-road racers to exotic locations around the world to be tested on everything from sandy beaches to rocky crevices to deep woods to motocross tracks for the event’s top prize: the ISDE World Trophy.
2016 will be the 91st running of the ISDE and will take place in the Navarra region of Spain. The race will be held from October 11 thru 16 in the municipality of Los Arcos, just 60 km away from the regional capital city of Pamplona. 653 riders representing 30 countries are registered to compete in Spain.
Each country participating in this event is authorized to have four riders representing the World Trophy Team, three riders under the age of 23 representing the Junior Trophy Team, three female riders representing the Women’s World Cup Team, and three riders for each Club Team entered to represent their country. Team USA is formed by our local FIM sanctioning body the American Motorcyclist Association. Riders for this years event were selected based on their race results and standing at the world and national level. AMA Team USA will send 28 riders to Spain this year.
Team Trail Jesters qualified three riders that will compete as a Club Team on AMA Team USA. We will also be sending 16 crew members to support the riders in Spain.
Team Trail Jesters / rider / number / class / bike
Josh Toth / #426 / C1 class / 2016 KTM 250xcf
Jason Klammer / #526 / C1 class / 2016 KTM 250xcf
Ben Kelley / #626 / C2 class / 2016 KTM 250xc
Here are the Art Pepin shots of the boys on the ISDE test track … the race starts on Tuesday October 11. More information of this year’s ISDE can be find on the event website including route maps and live timing & scoring. http://www.fim-isde2016.es/en/home/
We will also be posting daily during the race on Instagram and Facebook. Join in the dialog and help root our boys on in Spain!
The 2016 Jester Ride Day was epic! Thank you to the 121 riders that came out to join in the fun. Thank you also to the riders family, friends and support crew who also made the day so special. We raised $4,000+ towards the ISDE expenses for Ben Kelley, Josh Toth and Jason Klammer.
A special thank you to Malcolm Smith Racing, Tucker Rocky, Squid Decals and the many other supporters who donated prizes for our raffle. All photos by Leanne Dutlinger.
The TKO is by far the gnarliest “hard” enduro in the USA every year. Ben Kelley headed south to Sequatchie, TN to take on the legendary course and see how he stacked up to some of the top endurocross and hard enduro riders in the world.
Ben had to run two knockout rounds on Saturday to qualify for the big event on Sunday. Ben started on row 20 and passed a lot of riders to take the first qualifier race win. Then backed that up by also taking the second qualifier race for an overall first place qualifier finish with a 3 minute win margin.
Day 2 is when it gets really tough and the constant rain didn’t do anything but make everything that much more slippery. Ben started day 2 off by placing 8th overall in the “hot lap” race that determines start order for the first knock out round.
The first knockout race started to really distinguish the top riders in this crazy hilly rocky terrain. Ben again demonstrated his rock warrior skills and placed 3rd!
The second knock out race placed the remaining 25 contestants into 5 rows of 5 riders. The top 3 from each row would go through to the final. Ben crashed on a hill and spent 45 minutrs trying to get up. He finally made it when Cory Buttrick and Stu Baylor helped him. Classy move by those two. Ben finished 3rd from his row and so goes on to the final. He told us he was exhausted from getting stuck on that hill and was only going to “cruise” the final.
For the final knockout the remaining 13 riders lined up in 3 rows with a dead engine start. Ben was on row 3 and fought through the carnage to be just off the podium at 4th overall. Quite a learning experience and in Ben’s own words … the hardest thing he has ever done. He also said he can’t wait for next year 🙂